We have long known that the accumulation of plastic in the world’s landfills and oceans represents a growing environmental risk. More recently, we have come to understand that plastic poses an urgent – even deadly – threat to public health, too. And yet, global efforts to address the plastic crisis remain consistently focused on the wrong end of the life cycle: waste management. The debate that will resume this month at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) is a case in point, because it will focus on “marine litter and microplastics.” By Lili Fuhr and Jane Patton.
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Results for Opinion
Monday 11 March 2019
Wednesday 6 March 2019
I think many Tongans, including myself, are concerned over what is occurring with the Government’s development projects at Popua. ...Someone in the Government must speak up and take action or they will be held accountable by future generations who are impacted by these decisions. - Tevita ‘Ita.
Saturday 2 March 2019
Wellington, New Zealand
For some activities, the involvement of a machine spoils the experience. Consider social media. Facebook and Twitter cannot reduce loneliness, because they are designed to serve up a biased sample of social experience. Like digital sugar, they can make a social interaction instantly gratifying, but they always leave an empty feeling behind. By offering merely a simulation of social experience, they ultimately make us lonelier.
Wednesday 20 February 2019
Education gives young people the tools they need – from cognitive and social skills to self-confidence – to succeed throughout their lives. Burgeoning youth populations make delivering high-quality education to all particularly urgent. But success will be possible only with a sharp focus on girls and women. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking in the Pacific islands last October, underscored the added importance of this objective for “women and girls in developing countries.” By Nkandu Luo.
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Port Vila, Vanuatu
A key challenge for the Forum is to maintain its solidarity as staunchly pro-Blue Pacific...where we are custodians of some of the world’s richest biodiversity and marine and terrestrial resources. Leaders have articulated a desire for a shift in the development trajectory for the Pacific, through the Blue Pacific narrative and through it the opportunity to exercise our will. This is the strategic lens through which any conversation over China, and the associated geopolitical and geostrategic environment we find ourselves in, must occur. Our political conversations and settlements must be driven by the well-being of our Blue Pacific continent and its people, not by the goals and ambitions of others. By Dame Meg Taylor.
Friday 15 February 2019
London, United Kingdom
The philosopher Bertrand Russell believed the Cold War nuclear standoff resembled a high-risk game played by "youthful degenerates." British Prime Minister Theresa May is playing a similar game, and if her Brexit brinkmanship goes wrong, the victim would be Britain. By Chris Patten
Tuesday 12 February 2019
First, an almost infinite amount of speech is set free by digital democracy. The web then becomes a crowd, a free-for-all, where everyone shows up armed with his or her personal opinions, convictions, and truth. ... We thought we were giving every friend of the truth the technical means with which to contribute, boldly but modestly, to the adventures of knowledge. Instead, we convened a feeding frenzy. Truth’s body was laid out on the table and, fueled by a cannibalistic urge, we set to tearing it apart. By Bernard-Henri Lévy
Saturday 2 February 2019
Our current diets are bad for our health and are harming the planet. Two billion people are now overweight or obese. Poor diet is the biggest cause of noncommunicable disease in the world, posing a greater risk of morbidity and mortality than unsafe sex, alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse combined. By Line Gordon.
Monday 28 January 2019
Worldwide, more than four billion people are connected to the Internet, spending an average of roughly six hours per day on Internet-enabled devices and services. In Thailand and the Philippines, average daily usage is 9.5 hours; in the United States, 26% of the population is online “almost constantly;” and one billion more people in the world are projected to join the ranks of internet users by 2022. Yet as we embrace the digital world, the complexity of navigating it securely, efficiently, and in a personalized manner becomes more acute. By Anu Madgavkar and Olivia White
Friday 18 January 2019
One of the biggest obstacles to reducing the rate of unplanned pregnancies is the lack of sex education in schools. If more teenagers had access to sex education and contraception, fewer girls would have their lives interrupted by pregnancy. Only by empowering women and girls with the resources to control their reproduction will the grim statistics that have long burdened Guyana – and many other countries – begin to change for the better. By Patricee Douglas
Monday 14 January 2019
New York, USA
In a world divided by conflict and greed, the Global Fund’s fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria is a matter of enlightened self-interest and a reminder of how much humanity can accomplish when we cooperate to save lives. For public and private donors, that means providing the financing needed to eliminate all three scourges by 2030.
Thursday 3 January 2019
We can all agree that a free press reporting the news without political control is one of the important pillars of a democratic society. Take this away and democracy will erode into dictatorship. It is also the first line of defense against government corruption and tyranny. – ‘Ana Tausinga.
Wednesday 2 January 2019
New Delhi, India
America’s decision to abandon the global system it helped build, and then preserve for more than seven decades, marks a turning point, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike. By Richard N. Haass.
Friday 28 December 2018
New York, USA
This month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland succeeded in producing a rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Every UN member state signed on. But that will not be enough to head off climate catastrophe. It’s time to call in the engineers. When heads of state convene at the UN next September, the world’s leading engineers should greet them with a cutting-edge framework for global action. Energy transformation for climate safety is our twenty-first-century moonshot. By Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Thursday 27 December 2018
London, United Kingdom
Seven decades after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) remains a beacon of hope for the world, sending out an unequivocal message that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and that no abuse of human rights can be allowed to continue without challenge. But despite major advances over the last seven decades – such as the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine – human-rights abuses continue to be perpetrated at an alarming rate and with virtual impunity. By Gordon Brown.
Thursday 6 December 2018
Each year, some 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections worldwide. But superbugs also pose a threat to the effectiveness of modern medicine; if left unaddressed, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could make more infections untreatable, cancer therapies ineffective, routine surgeries impossible, and even childbirth unsafe. By Seth Berkley and Jeremy Farrar
Thursday 6 December 2018
The establishment of renminbi-based oil trading at a time when China and many other economies confront aggressive US tariffs, and possible further development of renminbi-based trade in other commodity markets, suggests that the US dollar could face an unprecedented challenge to its hegemony. It may in the near future no longer be seen as the anchor of the international monetary system, bringing to an end to what Valéry Giscard d’Estaing famously called the “exorbitant privilege” enjoyed by the US as a result of the dollar’s centrality in international trade. By John A. Mathews and Mark Selden.
Monday 26 November 2018
Prime Minister Pohiva has been an oppositional leader in Tonga's government since 1987...now that he is the Prime Minister and head of government, he still continues with the same mindset of governing in opposition, undermining his very own government. He opposes the majority of Tongans who decry his outrageous disregard for following policies, procedures, and the law. Simply put, PM Pohiva does not practice what he once preached passionately: democracy. - 'Ana Tausinga.
Tuesday 20 November 2018
Washington DC, USA
The Juliana v United States trial is about more than the environment; it will have far-reaching implications for intergenerational justice more broadly. Consider the issue of public debt. There have always been moral objections to one generation burdening the next with excessive debt, effectively limiting young people’s future liberty by impinging on their ability to form families, educate children, and create wealth. By Robert Dugger.
Tuesday 20 November 2018
Eradicating hunger, ending food insecurity, and ensuring sustainability are global priorities that call for collective action. We need to strengthen, not weaken, international cooperation. The international community needs to do three things to harness the benefits of trade in food and agriculture products. By Angel Gurría and José Graziano da Silva